Making a Sharpening Apron
If you, like me, have a favorite set of work clothes, you know how important it is to keep them in good repair for as long as possible. Yes, you can patch them or make a trip to the second-hand store and find a great deal, but finding favorite clothes is a bit serendipitous; regardless of the price, these clothes are just right. They are likely a bit worn-in, forgiving in the right places, soft enough to face the cold morning, yet still presentable.
That’s why at Scythe Supply we recommend not only safety equipment, but a measure of “safety” for your duds as well.
We’re talking about a sharpening apron, seen in the photo above. The design of sharpening aprons varies a bit. There is no pattern. As long as it protects your lap while you sharpen, peen or repair your blade it is a sharpening apron.
Of the aprons shown in the photo one is made from a large bath towel. It was made by sewing a length of cord piping to the long edge of the towel, with enough cord left on both ends to comfortably tie it around a waist. Voila: a sturdy apron that has withstood years of use! If the term “cord piping” gives you a vague sinking feeling, fear not, as a length of clothesline rope will suit the job as well. Cut a length (um... not from the actual clothesline) as long as the towel plus an additional four feet or so. Place the middle portion of the rope along the long edge of the towel and about an inch inside the fabric. Fold that inch over the rope, creating a kind of channel or hem. Sew along the edge of the rope, capturing it in the towel fabric, and then try your apron on!
Another of the aprons shown in the photo was created from old jeans. This time, the seamstress decided to leave a slit in the middle, essentially using the shape of the jeans as the shape of the apron. This design makes it easy to walk around in the apron, yet the apron still curves over your thighs when you sit.
Still another option, and the simplest, is to have a dedicated lap towel in your sharpening bucket.
Whatever you choose, some version of a sharpening apron is a good investment.
If you’ve already made a sharpening apron, and would like to assist others, please post a photo of your apron on the Scythe Supply Facebook page. We’d love to see your work!